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"Almost, but nothing ever really dies. There are always echoes. You'll learn that soon enough."
—Konstantin Kovar to Oliver on Lian Yu[src]

Konstantin Kovar (died 2012) was a government strongman who ruled over Krasnoyarsk, Russia. He also used his governmental position as a front for his personal criminal organization that had a rivalry with the Solntsevskaya Bratva. Oliver Queen, wanting to honor his promise to Taiana Venediktov that he would kill Kovar infiltrated the Bratva. Eventually, culminating in a final battle on Lian Yu, Kovar was killed by Oliver.

Biography

Early life

Konstantin Kovar grew up in poverty listening to stories of popular wisdom from his mother[1] and to his father's proverbs.[2] As an adult he served in the Russian army rising through the ranks until he became a general[3] and, eventually, gaining enough political connection to became a governament strongman and the ruler of Krasnoyarsk.[4][5]

Ruler of Krasnoyarsk

Taiana Venediktov mentioned Kovar to Oliver Queen when describing the village she'd come from. Taiana wanted to use the power of the Khushu Idol to come back to Krasnoyarsk and free it from Kovar's control.[4] Her last wish was for Oliver to go to Russia, find her parents and then complete her mission.[6]

Intending to honor Taiana's last wish, Oliver traveled to Krasnoyarsk and joined an illegal fighting ring, seeking to locate Kovar. He ended up killing one of the best "money-makers" in Kovar's criminal empire, after which he sent the Solntsevskaya Bratva thugs to take revenge on Oliver. Oliver was almost killed by a Bratva superior, before the timely intervention from Anatoly Knyazev. Knyazev explained that he himself is a "Bratva Captain" (avtoritet), and encouraged Oliver to move on with his life. Refusing, Oliver asked Anatoly to help him find and kill Kovar, to which the Russian crime boss wasn't ready to agree easily, explaining that Konstantin Kovar controls not only the underworld, but also a whole army of government soldiers, and getting to him would be a suicide mission. As Oliver pressed on, Knyazev decided to help with his plan, firstly by training him as a member of the Bratva.[5]

Kovar and his thugs

Kovar put on a confident persona when meeting Oliver Queen.

Oliver finally got a chance to meet Kovar himself when the Bratva Pakhan Ishmael Gregor sent him on a mission to infiltrate and destroy the casino built by Konstantin Kovar's criminal organization. Oliver, along with the other Bratva grunt, were apprehended by Kovar's men while setting the bomb, before being brought before the governor-turned-crime boss. As he took of his jacket and drank a glass of vodka, Konstantin revealed his knowledge of Oliver's Bratva association, telling the American a story with the moral of unity always being a path to strength, before snapping the neck of Oliver's Bratva partner.[1]

Oliver beaten by Kovar

Kovar beats up Oliver.

Konstantin then brought Oliver for a dinner at his mansion, questioning the American on his reasons for joining the Bratva and going after the governor of Krasnoyarsk. When he understood that Oliver is here to avenge Taiana's mother, Galina, Kovar claimed that the woman decided to work for him when her children, Taiana Venediktov and Vlad disappeared. Oliver tried to threaten Kovar, wounding his hand with a knife and taking guns from his thugs, only for more gangsters to appear and ambush Oliver, with Konstantin explaining that the Bratva agreed to lay off hostilities as exchange for a percentage to his casino's profits, leaving the American on his own. After Kovar gave Oliver a beating, Pakhan Ishmael Gregor arrived to his premises and asked to take Oliver back to the Bratva, as part of the deal.[7]

Oliver was then taken by Gregor and his men[8], Konstantin presumably continued his plan to take over Russian goverment, but was taken back by the death of his primary revenue, Misha Yurievich, who was killed by Oliver Queen witht he help of Talia al Ghul[9]. His base was also attacked by the mysterious Luchnik/Kapiushon, who was there to steal information about his deal with Gregor[10]. Later Konstantin had a meeting with Malcolm Merlyn discussing their deal about the shipment of Sarin Gas and information on the Undertaking. They were interrupted by the new Pakhan, Anatoly Knyazev. Anatoly and Kovar started discussing about the reports on the Kapiushon, who killed Gregor and what his last words were. Kovar started talking how Russia became weak after the destruction of Soviet Union which led Anatoly and Oliver starting to realize that his plans was to overthrow Russian government.

His Sarin Gas shipment was sent to Moscow, where Kovar was retrieving it with his men. They were attacked by Oliver and other members of Bratva, but they managed to escape. Kovar then invited members of the Russian government and military to his casino, but later realized that he was betrayed by Galina, whom he killed by snapping her neck. After having a small invitation speech to his guests, Kovar putted his gas mask on and launched the sarin gas. While Oliver was stopping it, Kovar attacked him. After a prolonged battle, Kovar was presumably killed by Oliver, but due to Malcolm Merlyn helping Kovar's men, he survived, but it took many months for him to completely heal.[2]

Revenge and death

After almost being killed by Oliver, Kovar wanted revenge. While healing, Kovar had his men spying Oliver and Anatoly. After learning Oliver's plan to fake his rescue from Lian Yu, Kovar and his men followed Oliver and Anatoly to there. After Anatoly left and while Oliver was building his bonfire, Kovar and his men sneaked up on him and he knocked him senseless and took him to the Chinese prison on Lian Yu.[11] Instead of killing Oliver he wanted to make him suffer to such an extent that he would want to kill himself. Kovar began to psychologically torture Oliver by injecting chemicals in his body that made hime relieve the worst moments in his life. He soon put Oliver in a cell and left him with a gun believing that in time he would commit suicide to escape the suffering.

However Oliver used the gun to escape he gave his men strict orders to find him but not kill him. After Oliver killed all of his men he got on to his chopper and planned to shoot and kill Oliver from above but Oliver brought the chopper and him down. In his final moments Kovar attacked Oliver so he would miss his boat home. Oliver had him in a headlock when his watched beeped telling him that his time was up. Konstantin merely laughed and told him that the island would be his prison. Oliver snapped his neck after that killing Kovar and ending his tyranny.

Personality

Kovar with his sword gallery

Kovar tries to manipulate Oliver Queen.

Konstantin Kovar was an imposing and cocksure man, taunting his prisoners with his mannerisms. He was also quietly cruel, executing a Bratva thug himself, and generally being known across Krasnoyarsk as an incredibly ruthless man, so much that even the peaceful Taiana Venediktov wanted to use dark magic to kill him. Kovar believed in unity above all else, this moral of his coming from the tale his mother told him. He despised the Solntsevskaya Bratva as "scum", despite controlling a criminal organization of his own, using his governmental position as a front. He also thought that one should not become "a damn farmer".[1]

After being almost killed by Oliver Queen, Kovar became fascinated by him and wanted to break him and personally kill him, while still respecting him.[12] Even when he was almost dying, he didn't show any remorse for his actions, only taunting how Oliver would miss his boat.

Abilities

  • High-level intellect/Expert leader: Kovar was an extremely sharp-witted, methodical, alert and adaptive individual. He was an effective leader capable to rule over a whole town.
    • Expert investigator: Although he met his match in Ishmael Gregor in the art of information-gathering, Kovar managed to upstage the Bratva leader by sending his thugs to take down the unsuspecting Oliver Queen.[1]
  • Expert combatant: Kovar was evidently highly proficient in unarmed combat, taking down a Bratva grunt with a single trained neck snap and defeating Oliver Queen relatively easily in their first fight.[1] In their second fight, Kovar managed to stalemate and even at times overpower and pin down Oliver despite the latter having been trained by Talia al Ghul before being ultimately defeated. Even after being visibly injured from his helicopter crashing, Kovar still proved to be a difficult challenge to Oliver, at first overwhelming him before Oliver turned the tides against him.
    • Expert knife wielder: Kovar was shown to be an excellent knife wielder, as shown in his second[2] and third [13] fight with Oliver Queen.
  • Peak of human physical condition: Kovar was shown to be in top physical form, as he was strong enough to easily break Bratva grunt's neck and incapacitate Oliver Queen with only few punches in their first fight as well as physically contend with him after he had been trained by Talia and even pin him down. Even after crashing with his helicopter and having visible damage, Kovar was able to fight with Oliver Queen for a long period of time.
  • Network: Being a Russian governor in Krasnoyarsk, Kovar used his governmental position for the sake of profit, covering up his personal crime ring rival to the Bratva.[1]

Equipment

  • Swords: Kovar owned a gallery of swords that was placed on the wall behind his seat in his mansion.[7]
  • Firearms: Kovar uses different types of guns such as handguns and sub-machine guns.
  • Knife: Konstantinos used a knife during his final fight with Oliver on Lian Yu.

Appearances

Arrow

Season 4

Season 5

Trivia

  • Konstantin Kovar is the last person that Oliver killed on Lian Yu.
  • Konstantin is similar to Adrian Chase as both wanted revenge on Oliver by making him suffer and breaking him. However while Kovar failed to break Oliver Adrian didn't and he was able to make Oliver confess that he killed cause he wanted to and he liked it.

Behind the scenes

  • In the DC comics Konstantin Kovar was the father of Leonid Kovar, a Russian superhero known as Red Star, a member of Teen Titans, New Titans and an ally of Red Robin. Konstantin eventually turned up as a villain, the man behind "meta men", before his apparent death.
  • In real life the Governor of Krasnoyarsk Krai in 2011 was Lev Kuznetsov. Interestingly enough, fictional Russian surname Kovar is similar to Ukrainian/Slavic word "koval'" which means "blacksmith", while surname "Kuznetsov" is based on a Russian word for blacksmith, "kuznets".
  • His "mother's story" Konstantin Kovar told to Oliver is actually a common Russian fairy tale "Repka", or "The Turnip".

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "So It Begins"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Kapiushon"
  3. "Fighting Fire With Fire"
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Lost in the Flood"
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Legacy"
  6. "Schism"
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Vigilante"
  8. "Who Are You?"
  9. "Second Chances"
  10. "Fighting Fire With Fire"
  11. "Honor Thy Fathers"
  12. "Missing"
  13. "Lian Yu"